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Goal setting for optimal asthma control

Goals of asthma management

The first goal of overall asthma management is to achieve current control. This is defined in terms of symptoms the patient experiences and how often they have to use their reliever, together with the extent to which their asthma and lung function limit their daily activities. 1

The second goal is to reduce a patient’s long-term asthma-related risk. Future risk is defined by how unstable the patient’s asthma is and the likelihood of it worsening. Another consideration is also prevention of lung function loss and the adverse effects of medications used. 1

Factors to consider to achieve overall asthma control

Overall asthma control flow diagram showing patients achieving control defined by symptoms, reliever use, activity and lung function compared with reducing future risks that are defined by instability/worsening of symptoms, exacerbations, lung function loss and medication-related adverse events.

Adapted from J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010;125:600–8. 1Overall asthma control: The relationship between current control and future risk. Copyright (2010), with permission from Elsevier. 

The long-term goals of asthma management are symptom control and risk reduction. The aim is to reduce the burden to the patient and their risk of exacerbations, airway damage and medication side effects, which can occur due to lack of control of the underlying disease process.

GINA 2016 2and Reddel, et al. 2009. 3




  1. Bateman ED, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010;125:600–8.
  2. GINA 2016 © 2016 Global Initiative for Asthma, all rights reserved.  Use is by express license from the owner. www.ginasthma.org (Last accessed December 2016).
  3. Reddel HK, et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2009;180:59–99.